The bulk of a $1 million substance abuse recovery and aftercare fund to help NWT communities hire counselors has yet to be allocated.
Indigenous and community governments and non-profit organizations can apply for the fund, which can award up to $95,000 to each applicant to help cover the cost of counselor recruitment and related programs.
Late last week, with the start of National Addictions Awareness Week, the Government of the Northwest Territories issued a new call for applications before the current fund expires at the end of the fiscal year. .
This is the fund’s second year of operation.
In December last year, Health Minister Julie Green said the first year of funding had proved “very popular” and 13 proposals had been received at the time. The first year, the program started with a total of $780,000 available and a maximum of $68,000 per applicant.
This winter, well over half of the funds went unspent.
Of the $1,050,000 earmarked for the fund, Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Jeremy Bird said by email Friday last week, $658,893 remains available with about four and a half months to spend it. .
According to the rules of the program, funds received must be spent by March 31, 2023.
The fund was created to improve aftercare for people in NWT communities.
In the 18 months since its launch, the territorial government has urged Indigenous and community governments to maximize funding – but concerns have been raised that some may not have the capacity to go through the application process and to manage the resulting position.